NEWS

A couple of days ago a report surfaced saying that the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus don't yet have a release time frame set for the Chinese market. Apparently not even China Mobile, the world's biggest carrier by subscriber count, knows when the two models will arrive in its country. It all has to do with the two iPhones not having been certified for sale in China by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the rumor went. And this has pretty much been confirmed today through an article published by China's state news agency. So far four iPhone 6 models have passed what's known as China Compulsory Certification (3C), and have also won approval from the State Radio Regulation of China. The 3C system is similar to the European CE, in that it's a mandatory certification that approves various products to be sold in the Chinese mainland. All of this may sound like good news for Apple, but its two new iPhones still need to obtain "a key network access license" before they can legally be sold in China. And once again, we have no estimation on when they might receive that. So despite some steps having already been made towards releasing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China, it's still very much a mystery when they should be expected in stores over there. Source |...


iOS 8 started rolling out to the masses yesterday at 10 am PT. So it's only around 24 hours old at this point. However, it's already present on more than 16% of Apple mobile devices, according to data from analytics firm Mixpanel which tracks mobile app usage. That figure was reached as of 7 am PT today, and in the hours that have passed since then it's surely gone up some more. At the moment of the launch yesterday, Mixpanel was showing an adoption rate for iOS 8 of 0.53%, made up of people using the pre-release versions of the software. As impressive as this 16% adoption rate may sound, iOS 8 is actually slower-spreading than its predecessor. iOS 7 reached 15% of devices before the day of its release ended. And one day after that, it was to be found on a whopping 38% of Apple-made mobile wares. The slower adoption of iOS 8 makes some sense when you consider how much more publicity iOS 7 got last year thanks to its completely revamped user interface. This year's release packs a lot of new things too, but most of those are new features and under the hood enhancements, as the design hasn't been altered this time around. To get to know iOS 8 better, make sure you read our in-depth preview. Of all the versions of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 7 is still the most widely distributed, appearing on 80% of devices. Older iterations see a collective adoption rate of only 3% at the moment. Source |...


The past few months have been a pretty mixed bag for OnePlus, the Chinese startup that's behind the One - which it calls a "flagship killer". A series of mishaps, as well as its famous invite system, have led many to hold on purchasing the One. But if you have, you may reconsider starting next month. See, it looks like the company finally heard the cries of would-be customers across the world, and it's set to introduce a new pre-order system "in late October". Here's how the new system will work. OnePlus will hold limited time sales, during which anyone will be able to place an order for the OnePlus One. So far it sounds like Xiaomi's 'flash sale' model. The difference is that OnePlus won't limit the amount of orders that can happen during each window. Obviously though, the number of readily available Ones will be limited, so those will immediately go out to people who ordered (presumably on a first come, first served basis). When the stock runs out, the remaining orders will be automagically transformed into pre-orders. If you'll be in this situation, the company promises it will give you an approximation of when it expects to ship your order before you go through with the payment authorization (so you can easily back down if it feels like too much of a wait). Also, if you decided to go with the pre-order but change your mind before your handset has shipped, you'll be able to cancel easily. Interestingly though, the invites will stick around. And they'll let you skip the wait. If you receive an invite while you're waiting for a pre-order to ship, you can apply it to skip the pre-order queue and have your One sent to you immediately. Even more information will be made public about a week before the new system goes...


Android L is undoubtedly going to be released by Google before the end of this year, and as more time passes you might be inclined to ask yourself when or if your particular device will get updated. With Samsung's Galaxy S5 and Note 4, it's clearly not a matter of 'if', as they will both surely receive the new OS version. But when? Here comes the first rumor on the matter. Apparently you should expect rollouts to commence either in late November or in early December. That would be pretty fast for Samsung, even if Google pushes out the new bits tomorrow. However, there's no release date for Android L to speak of right now. But it looks like Samsung may be working towards having updates ready sooner than usual. This may of course have something to do with the recent moves by some of Samsung's competitors. Last year, HTC and Motorola were both reasonably fast with updates to Android 4.4 KitKat (Motorola far more than HTC). And this time around Moto's already said that it will have updates ready within 90 days after it gets the finalized source code from Google. As more and more companies finally realize how important timely software updates are for smartphone owners, Samsung probably has no choice but to work faster too. That said, it's pretty clear that the Galaxy S5 and Note 4 will be the first Samsung devices to see Android L. When older handsets such as last year's Galaxy S4 and Note 3 may get updated is a different matter entirely, and we wouldn't be surprised if that only happens next...


Similarly to its UK pre-order campaign, the Galaxy Note 4 will become available for preliminary orders tomorrow in the US as well. US carriers AT&T and T-Mobile join in on the fun, too. Unlike AT&T, which opens pre-orders of the phone starting tomorrow, T-Mobile will do so on September 24 at 9AM PDT. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will hit store shelves on October 14 at AT&T and October 17 anywhere else in the US. T-Mobile is going to offer the phone for $31.24/month with a 2-year contract. Interestingly, AT&T has revealed its no contract pricing of the Galaxy Note 4. The SIM-free version will cost you $825.99. You can also have it for $299.99 with a 2-year deal, as well. In Europe, the phone will launch on October 10 with a rumored price tag of €699 for a SIM-free...


Samsung has officially announced Galaxy Note 4 availability details for the UK market. The phablet's pre-orders will start tomorrow, September 19 from Samsung's retail stores in the country. Retailers Three, Carphone Warehouse, Clove and other outlets will get to offer the Galaxy Note 4's for pre-order a week later on September 26. After the recent developments it's extremely unlikely that Phones4U is going to jump on the bandwagon. The company plans to stock store shelves with Galaxy Note 4 units on October 10, three weeks from now. In South Korea, however, this could happen a bit earlier. Yesterday, we reported that SK Telecom plans to launch the phone for a pre-order some time today and make it available for purchase on September 26. Official pricing information for the phone is still under wraps. Earlier this month, the first pre-orders launched at €699. In case you're wondering, there's also a lot of unknowns regarding Galaxy Note Edge's pricing and availability. All we know is that it's going to land in China on September...


Gigabyte has just unveiled the launch plans for its latest four Android smartphones. They will start selling in Russia and select parts of Europe soon. First up is the Roma R2 Plus Edition, which packs a 4" IPS display of800 x 480 pixel resolution. A 1.3GHz quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM are helping the phone run Android 4.4 KitKat. Internal storage is 8GB coupled with a microSD helps expand it by up to 32GB. At the back of the Roma R2 Plus Edition, there's a 5MP camera with LED flash, while at the front there's a VGA one for selfies. The phone measures 125 x 63.2 х 9.3mm and weighs 120 grams with a 1,400mAh battery underneath the back cover. It will be available in Russia in black, white, red and blue for $130 (RUB 4,990). It is joined by the GSmart Arty A3 and its larger 5" 854 x 480 pixel display. The phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat on a MediaTek MT6582 chipset featuring a quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 CPU and 1GB of RAM. There's a microSD card slot to complement the 4GB of internal storage. The Arty A3 measures 145 x 73.2 x 9.4mm and weighs 165 grams. The Arty A3 features an updated 8MP camera with LED flash and 1080p video recording at the back and a 2MP snapper at the front. The battery has 2,000mAh capacity and is rated at 300 hours of stand-by and 8 hours of talk time. Expect the phone to cost about $150 (RUB 5,790). Next up is the Gigabyte GSmart Mika M2, which at an approximate price of $182 (RUB 6,990) features a 5" IPS display of 720p resolution and the MediaTek MT6582 chipset. At the back, there's a 13MP cmera with 1080p video recording, coupled with a 5MP front-facing one. The battery remains 2,000mAh as the Arty A3, while internal storage is bumped to 8GB (microSD card slot is present, too). Finally, there's the Gigabyte GSmart Guru (White Edition). It costs $259 (RUB 9,990) and comes with a 5" 1080p IPS display and a respectably quick Mediatek MT6589T chipset packing a quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A7 CPU and 2GB of RAM. Strangely, it runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but we're sure it'll get updated to KitKat, considering the rest of the line-up runs the latest version of the OS. Anyway, at the back is the same 13MP camera of the Mika M2, but the battery is bumped at 3,000mAh. Internal storage is a generous 32GB, but that's understandable since no microSD card slot is available. The phone weighs 165 grams and is 8.5mm...


Oppo R1S went official in China back in April. It's a worthy upgrade over its Oppo R1 predecessor with better camera, better Snapdragon 400 chipset and LTE Cat.4 connectivity. Today Oppo has launched the smartphone in Malaysia, where it is called Oppo R1L. It has identical specs and costs RM 1,198 or about €290. In case you need a refresh, the Oppo R1L features a 5" 720p IPS display and comes in a super slim 7.1mm shell. It is powered by the wide-spread Snapdragon 400 chipset with a quad-core 1.6GHz Cortex-A7 processor and 1GB of RAM. It has a 13MP rear and 5MP front camera, both capable of 1080p video recording. It supports LTE Cat.4 connectivity, the most important upgrade on its predecessor. Now that Oppo R1L, also known as R1S, has broken the Chinese exclusivity, we expect it to roll out in even more markets soon enough. Source |...


The Sony Xperia Z3 is now offered on contract in the United Kingdom with O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere. The contract prices are available to see from a number of online retailers like Mobiles UK, Clove and CarphoneWarehouse. Prices start from £28 a month with no upfront cost for the device and then go up depending on the contract offers. You can naturally also pay in full without a carrier subscription with prices starting even lower than the initial £549 with a £529.99 at Expansys and £515 at Clove. The older Xperia Z2 should now become cheaper and does hold its own nicely against the latest flagship. The Xperia Z3 brings a more streamlined body, higher water resistance, higher-clocked processor and lower weight but at a 100mAh decrease in...


Along with a bunch of new tablets, Amazon has also announced an updated version of its Fire OS for the tablets. Called Fire OS 4 (codename "Sangria"), the update is based on Android 4.4 KitKat and brings UI changes and a handful of new features. Amazon has tweaked the UI of the OS in version 4. There are now also profiles, so different users can have different email, Facebook, and Twitter, and device settings accounts on one device. One of the new features is ASAP, or Advanced Streaming and Prediction. It predicts which movie or TV show episode you are going to watch next and starts them instantly. There is also Smart Suspend, which based on the usage pattern, intelligently suspends wireless connectivity to increase standby time by up to 25%. The new Fire OS 4 includes Family Library, which lets you share your apps, games, books, movies, etc. from one Amazon account with other Amazon members in your family. Lastly, Amazon has added Firefly, a feature that first debuted on the Fire phone, to the tablets, although it is only available on the Fire HDX 8.9. The Fire OS 4 is shipping on the new 4th generation Kindle Fire tablets and will be available as a free update to 3rd generation devices. The Fire phone will get OS 4 early next...


The Samsung SM-A500 has passed by TENAA and has left behind photos and specifications. The phone is expected to be a mid-range Alpha - premium build, a 5" Super AMOLED screen with 720p resolution and a Snapdragon 400 chipset. The TENAA info confirms these specs and adds 1.2GHz CPU clockspeed (quad-core), 2GB RAM and Android 4.4.4 KitKat. There's 16GB of built-in storage with a microSD card slot (up to 128GB cards are supported). Samsung SM-A500 photos by TENAA The phone packs a 13MP main camera with 1080p video capture. Earlier info claimed the camera will be an 8MP shooter. On the connectivity side there's quad-band 2G, then there's 3G (international and Chinese) and LTE (the Chinese flavor). The Samsung SM-A500 measures 139.3 x 69.7 x 6.7mm and weighs 126g, so it will have Galaxy Alpha's impressive thin and light build. The phone was photographed in White but there will be a Black versions, perhaps others too. Source (in...


Alongside the Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7, Amazon also unveiled an updated Fire HDX 8.9 tablet. The retail giant's latest flagship slate is now available for pre-order with shipments scheduled to reach customers on October 21. The Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 features Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset with 2.5GHz quad-core CPU and Adreno 420 GPU, coupled with 2GB of RAM. The slate is available in versions with 16, 32, or 64GB of built-in memory. The tablet's display is an 8.9" unit with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels and 339ppi. The unit boasts 100% sRGB color accuracy and max brightness greater than 400 nits. Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 offers 8MP main camera with f/2.2 lens and LED flash, coupled with a front-facing HD unit. Connectivity includes dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, as well as optional 4G LTE. The Fire HDX 8.9 is the first tablet to feature Dolby Atmos audio. The latter works with headphones plugged in and creates a 360-degree sound experience. Stereo speakers are also on board. Physical measures of the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 are 231 X 158 X 7.8mm, while its weight tips the scale at 375 grams for Wi-Fi, and 389 grams for a 4G LTE model. The tablet's battery is quoted at offering 12 hours of mixed use. As expected, the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 boots Android-based Fire OS 4. The OS integrates Amazon's shopping and content streaming services, including Mayday on-device support and Firefly shopping assistant. Pricing of the Fire HDX 8.9 kicks off at $379 for a 16GB model (8.8GB available to the user) with sponsored content. The top model with 64GB of memory, LTE, and no ads costs $594. Additional accessories such as an Origami Case and Fire Keyboard are available at $54.99 and $59.99 respectively. Source...


Amazon announced the Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7 tablets. The duo of affordable tablets is already available for pre-order in a variety of colors, with pricing starting at only $99 for a Fire HD6 slate with 8GB of memory and sponsored screensavers. General release is scheduled for October 2. Amazon Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7 are powered by a quad-core CPU with two 1.2GHz cores and two 1.5GHz cores . Both devices offer a gig of RAM and are available in versions with 8GB or 16GB of on-board memory. Connectivity is handled by single-band Wi-Fi, as well as SlimPort enabled microUSB 2.0 port. The Amazon Fire HD 6 offers a 6" display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and 252 ppi. Amazon Fire HD 7 on the other hand, makes do with a 7" 1280 x 800 screen with pixel density of 216 ppi. Both tablets offer a combination of a 2MP main camera and a front-facing VGA snapper. Additional features include a mono speaker for the Fire HD 6 and dual-stereo speakers for the Fire HD 7. Both devices offer Dolby Digital Plus enhancement. Physical measures of the Amazon Fire HD 6 are 169 x 103 x 10.7 mm, while its weight tips the scale at 290 grams. Measures of the Fire HD 7 are 191 x 128 x 10.6 mm and 337 grams. The tablets run Android-based Amazon Fire OS 4. As expected, the OS offers complete integration of the retail giant's shopping and content services. Pricing of the Amazon Fire HD 6 tops out at $134 for a 16GB model with no ads. The Amazon Fire HD 7 starts at $139 for an 8GB model with ads, all the way to $174 for a 16GB device with no sponsored content. Source 1 | Source...


It looks like users in the United States will soon have the opportunity to get their hands on the Sony Xperia Z3 and the Xperia Z3 Compact. The freshly announced handsets are listed as "coming soon" on Sony's official website. Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact shares the same status as its smartphone relatives. There is no exact timeline on the launch of the trio of high-end devices - we reckon that they will be available in time for the holiday shopping season. T-Mobile already confirmed that it would offer Sony Xperia Z3 in the US. The device is also rumored to hit Verizon as Xperia Z3v. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact on the other hand, will likely be available factory unlocked. Announced during IFA earlier this month, Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact offer top shelf specs, tucked into sleek, waterproof bodies. You can check out our detailed review of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact over here. Source 1 | Source 2 |...


After leaking back in August, the new BlackBerry Porsche Design P'9983 has been officially announced today. It's the successor to the P'9982 from last year, which itself succeeded the original P'9981 from 2011. The new smartphone comes with a 3.1-inch 720x720 touchscreen, an 8 MP rear camera, and a 2 MP front-facing camera. It's got 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage that can be expanded via a microSD card slot. 4G LTE support is in, as are dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11n), an FM radio, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and NFC. The P'9983 is powered by a pretty old Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus chipset, which comes with a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU and an Adreno 225 GPU. Keeping things juiced up is a 2,100 mAh battery. The phone runs BlackBerry OS 10.3. Its dimensions are 119 x 67.1 x 10.6 mm, and it weighs 140g. The main talking point about this device will undoubtedly be its design and premium finish. It comes with sapphire glass for the camera lens, forged stainless steel for the Porsche Design logo and chassis, and "a special glass-weave technology for the back door". In the box you'll find a premium stereo headset, an international charging kit, a polishing cloth, and a USB cable. Exclusive aftermarket accessories will also be offered, including back covers made from fine Italian leather. These will be available in a myriad of different colors. The BlackBerry P'9983 will become available by early October at Porsche Design stores, as well as select carriers and retailers across the world. Pricing hasn't been announced, but don't expect this handset to be cheap. At...


The recently announced Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is already up for pre-order in Germany, though it's been priced at a rather insane €1,000. It turns out, however, that it might actually be that expensive. Over in China, an employee at the country's biggest carrier used the Weibo microblogging network to post about the Note Edge's price. This will apparently be over CNY 7,000. At the current exchange rates, that equates to $1,139 or €880. And since €1,000 is technically more than €880, you probably shouldn't expect to see the Note Edge in the 'bargains' category at any retailer. Interestingly, the aforementioned China Mobile employee later took down his post about the Note Edge, so let's count this whole thing as an unconfirmed rumor for now. On the other hand, the same individual has since written about the Galaxy Note 4's launch in China. Apparently this is set to go down on September 26, in fact the exact same day on which we've recently heard that the new phablet would become available in South Korea. China Mobile will reportedly have two versions of the Note 4 on sale. The "regular" N9100 will be priced at CNY 5,399 ($878, €678), but may not support that particular carrier's flavor of 4G. And then there's the N9108, which will work on China Mobile's 4G network, and will cost CNY 5,199 ($846, €653). That's pretty much in line with what the Galaxy Note 3 went for when it arrived last year - China Mobile sold it for CNY 5,399, while the other carriers asked for CNY 5,799. Anyway, don't forget to take all of this information with a grain of salt for now, since it comes from just one guy. Source (in Chinese) | Via 1 (in Chinese) • Via...


According to MediaTek Vice President Mohit Brushan there could be demand for between 1.5 million and 2 million Android One smartphones by the end of the year in India. His company is making the Cortex-A7-based chips for Micromax, Karbonn and Spice's Android One smartphones. The first Android One devices are using the MediaTek MT6582 chipset and cost between 6,399 INR and 7,000 INR or below €90, which is bound to stir the market. According to PwC India's leader Mohammad Chowdhury the main competition is priced above 7,000 INR. Android One smartphones aren't the best equipped but promise to offer fluid software and hardware and OS updates that come straight from Google, making the platform sound much more serious than those pimped-out Android devices that rarely see an update in their...


The Apple Watch is arriving early 2015 in three versions - Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition. The Watch Sport is going to cost $349 as Apple announced last week, but according to long-time Apple analyst John Gruber, the gold Watch Edition version could retail for as much as $4,999. The reason for the high price tag is that Apple is manufacturing the Watch Edition with solid 18-karat gold. It's not plated or coated. This kind of affair in watchmaking comes at a cost. According to Gruber, at the very least, the Watch Edition is going to retail at $1,999. However, that's as optimistic as he's willing to go. He even goes on to compare the Apple Watch Edition to the more "affordable" Rolex watches stating that the $5,000 price tag isn't as ridiculous as it might initially appear. Furthermore, the analyst speculates that the Apple Watch with stainless steel and sapphire glass is going to retail for $999. Whether these predictions will turn out true or will be far from reality, will become clear only when Apple discloses the pricing of the Watch. Source |...


You've heard all about iOS 8 now you can experience it for yourself - the new version of the operating system is out of beta after months of testing and is about to start rolling out to devices worldwide. The new iOS is compatible with iPhone 4S and later, iPad 2 and later, any iPad mini, the iPod touch 5th generation. Check out the announcement news for a summarized changelog or you can read our preview for a more detailed look at the changes. Keep in mind that one of the new features, Handoff, that syncs various activities with Mac OS X Yosemite will start working only next month. Before you start the update it's advisable to make a backup and to have 2GB or so of free storage. You can update from the phone itself (Settings > General > Software updates) or from iTunes. Actual seeding should start at about 5PM GMT, so keep an eye on your iDevice when the time comes....

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